Unification News for October 1998

An Evening at the New Life Tabernacle in Brooklyn

by Christine Libon

The "Easter in New York" and "Macyís Brooklyn" events were sponsored by the Christian Times. Christian Times editor Rev. Dillon, New Life Tabernacleís Rev. Billings and Rev. Al Sharpton are important figures in the Christian Church and black communities of New York. They all know and support each other and have begun to know and appreciate our True Parents. They invited our church and Dr. Tyler Hendricks to their most important annual event, held on Sunday, Oct. 7, hosted by the Rev. Figueroa and Rev. Billings. The New Life Tabernacle is the nest of the New Life Tabernacle Choir, led by Angela Moses, who played such an important role as leader of the 2,000-voice choir at Blessing í98.

It was truly The place to be, as those attending included Rev. Holt, Rev. Clarke, Rev. Pierre-Louis, Rev. Hiro, and Adruma Victoria (please forgive me if I neglect to mention all names). I found this night to be a precious chance to meet saints of the new age where the will of God is being done. Being before Angelica Moses in person was incredibly exciting and emotional. At least one brother took the opportunity to get her autograph. What does it take to be the kind of leader she is? Iím sure, if asked, she would attribute it to the power of the Lord working through her. Such leadership offers great hope to this trouble society. What kind of character do dedicated members of the family of God have? Such thoughts were with me as I participated in the congregational hymns.

The pastors clarified our purpose for gathering: to offer praise and gratitude for Godís blessings on the abundant harvest of the past year. "Donít eat the seeds," was one strong emphasis of the opening message, "plant them."

As for the regional choir, we really felt spirit world supporting our efforts. Usually it would be difficult to gather many people to travel far distances. We believe it was accomplished quickly and smoothly because the event directly supports Godís central providence. Rehearsals went well and we were able to learn the two pieces, "He Watching Over Israel" by Mendelssohn and "If I Can Help Somebody," a traditional gospel number. Francesco Santelli directed, Rikako Asanuma accompanied, and Daryl Franklin performed a solo.

But most inspiring was what followed-the speech by Dr. Tyler Hendricks. In the heart of his speech Dr. Hendricks said that Jesus told the woman at the well to go and get her husband. Jesus couldnít give the "Living Water" to her alone. Surely, if she had brought her husband to Jesus he would have blessed their marriage. "Go and get your spouse," Dr. Hendricks told the congregation. "But youíve got to get serious, youíve got to be faithful...youíve got to be able to invite God into your home and your family."

Rev. Billings added that itís okay to be the bride of Jesus, but "Youíd better bring José along, too, because just you and Jesus ainít gonna fill my church; but you and José and your kids will!" He also really liked Francescoís baton for conducting. The closing prayer was powerful. Citing specific problems in the community, Rev. Billings prayed that some deadbeat dad "gonna feel convicted by this prayer and come back to fulfill his responsibility. Some teenager going astray from motherís guidance is going to feel convicted and make a change this day."

We are thankful for the spirit of true brotherhood and sisterhood and unity of all races which permeated the atmosphere. We are thankful for the warm welcome and the honor of your hearty applause given in appreciation of our performance.

I would like to commend the UTS students and all others who made a wonderful offering by dedicating their heart and time to participate in this event. Special thanks to Rev. Hong and the New Jersey choir whose support of the regional choir has been so consistent. There is so much more I want to say in appreciation of the exemplary service, sacrifice and untold dedication of Heavenly brothers and sisters, yet somehow it is not now possible or appropriate. However, when we go to the blessed land where precious treasures are being held in store, and when the time comes to pass out the golden crowns, all these wonderful deeds will be made known.

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